In a world where boundaries blur and possibilities collide, two extraordinary individuals emerge from different realms, united by a shared vision. Matthew Mata-Aguilar, a seasoned veteran with a decade of wisdom in the cycling industry, and Glen Repol, a maven of street fashion culture for over eleven years, embark on an epic journey that transcends the ordinary. Together, they shatter the confines of traditional cycling norms, pushing the limits of imagination and innovation. From bike builds to cycling fashion, their collaboration ignites a spark that sets the stage for a mesmerizing spectacle.
Brace yourself as they unveil a groundbreaking event, a helmet art show like no other, where creativity intertwines with functionality, and the cycling culture is forever transformed. Get ready to witness the collision of worlds, the convergence of ideas, and the birth of a new era in cycling. This is the story of SLOWRIDER and PAL, two trailblazers on a mission to redefine what it means to ride.
An Introduction to PAL by Glen Repol
PAL (Parallels and Longitudes) is a concept that aims to bring a new perspective to cycling by connecting multi-medium creatives through our appreciation of all things bicycle-related! Through this, my mission is to offer a common denominator for those who would otherwise possibly never cross paths, all by bike.
PAL represents the convergence of lines from different directions, symbolizing the formation of connections and intersections. It transcends the limitations of traditional East-West or North-South orientations, as lines journey from Southeast to Northwest, embracing endless possibilities and curiosity. PAL is not about following a single path; it is about the confluence of diverse perspectives and the creation of communities and bonds. It is where lines meet, and crossing paths with each other.
This year I decided to change the name from Clyde’s Corner to PAL. but the root of Clyde’s Corner still resides in PAL, like corners; Parallels and Longitudes are the meeting point of all things. Cycling is the medium. Clyde’s Corner was to create a pop-up that operated as a meeting point for those to sell, trade, and barter bikes, bike parts, and gear. I wanted to create a marketplace that brought attention to vintage bikes and encouraged upcycling from the ’80s and ’90s eras of cycling. As this idea evolved and my community expanded, I decided maybe it’s not only bike parts we use to connect people but also filling the void of streetwear or predominantly products that people of color align within the streetwear “industry.” At this point, I was struggling to find products that spoke to me, and my particular appreciation for streetwear and vintage within the cycling industry.
From that, PAL WAS BORN! I knew through PAL I wanted to cross paths with individuals not only by bicycle but through other mediums such as: music, art, books, zines, movies and TV shows, etc. Essentially in hopes of making a genuine connection and hearing their story while on the bike!
With my background in graphic design, photography, video editing, music, and marketing I have been brainstorming ways to try and connect my creative network outside of cycling for a few years now. I found myself constantly customizing parts on my bikes that fit my personality and style. Our personalities speak through the clothes we wear and there are a lot of us who ride bikes with a sense of bold personal style and not afraid to wear clothes that fit their characters. However, the helmet is one accessory I always found myself settling with depending on what color was available.
Eventually, it dawned on me to reach out to friends and ask them to customize these helmets for me so I no longer had to settle! Helmets are a necessity and something that should always be worn while riding a bicycle. The helmet can be the connecting point for creatives outside of cycling to meet with those involved with cycling! The medium for artists and the missing garment for those in search of ;) It is the perfect way to fully communicate what PAL aims to be!
I have met a ton of unique individuals on group rides, with one particular person in mind Dan has really held it down over the years and with my involvement, Total Trash has expanded to a massive group ride we do twice a month also extending to Manila, Philippines. Lots of old and some new people coming together to show our latest bike builds and new gear. All crossing paths, and being at the same place at the same time.
Through crossing paths on these rides, SLOWRIDER Mattie was very special; it was like meeting someone with the same mission in mind. I told him about this idea of having an art show and having the helmet as the canvas. I’ve been thinking of a way of bringing my network of creatives into one place that doesn’t have to involve all of us biking.
I wanted to create an unusual and unique intersection that would include: art, cycling, music, fashion, food, and wine. That’s when I decided to curate a helmet art show with help from Mattie and Jeremy Dunn from Smith. We are aiming to have a PAL x Smith art show on Feb 17th, 2024 called “Crossing Paths” at Neo LA Gallery. This art show will be a curation of 22 different artists who will custom handcraft a special Smith Helmet to showcase. With this Art show, we aim to raise funds for each helmet sold donated to No Canyon Hills. In efforts to preserve The Vergudo Mountains.
An Introduction to SLOWRIDER by Matthew Mata-Aguilar
SLOWRIDER, is by no means a remark on “pace,” but a reminder to pay attention to the details. SLOWRIDER is a concept where I merge my culture and my passion into one.
I was enjoying my last few days in LA, a very emotional time for me as I was on my way to Texas a few days later. On a cruise through the city, a friend and I decided to stop by a food pop-up at a weekend market – that’s when Glen and I crossed Paths!
It was when I met Glen, at the time Clyde’s Corner, where I really felt the inspiration to push boundaries. We connected through fashion, the arts, and our cultural similarities. I will add, that Glen was carefully harmonizing an orchestra in his head that would later become PAL! I was able to share my 10+ years of industry knowledge with Glen and introduce them to like minded individuals. Not only was my time in LA coming to an end, but also at The Cub House. I am grateful to my family at the Cub House for allowing me to be ME! I was able to work on this concept freely, similar to master car builders honing their craft.
That is where SLOWRIDER WAS BORN.
My pops built lowriders and I would spend hours watching him work on every little detail of his ride! You could catch me sitting on a bench at the upholstery shop, riding shotty, or posted up at a show! Those experiences translate through my bike builds.
SLOWRIDER really came to fruition after the completion of my 97 Schwinn Homegrown. It was not hard to find the inspiration to create “AXOLOTL,” a concept that pays tribute to Chicano culture and the WIP lowrider. Latino heritage is so rich and our culture is so vibrant, mix that with a bike forum geek and ❤️🔥. I was fortunate enough to debut the bike at a Lowrider Magazine Supershow and a few weeks later at the annual Bike Show Car Show at The Cub House.
Since then I have released a family & friends “Club Tee” and a beautiful handlebar with The Cub House & Doom Bars. When Glen invited me to be the guest bike builder for “Crossing Paths” I was HYPE! I am really looking forward to sharing with you all another experience, something more intimate.
The build is supported by Fabrica de Rosa in partnership with Paul Components and Ultradynamico.
Join us for a PAL x Smith art show on February 17th, 2024 called “Crossing Paths” at Neo LA Gallery!
Invitational Photos are from Tebow
Helmets painted by Sobstory